The Chinatown of Manhattan is located in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of the New York City. It can be considered as the home to the largest Chinese population in Northern Hemisphere. From the recent statistics, it has been identified that over 100,000 Chinese people stay here at the Chinatown, New York. It has been identified as one of the 12 metropolitan areas of the New York as well.
Ah Ken, who was a popular Chinese businessman, can be considered as the founder of New York Chinatown. He came to the United States during the 1840s and settled here in this town. Soon after immigration, he founded a cigar store at Park row. Ah Ken sold cigars at a very low price, which contributed a lot towards the popularity of his business. As a result, he was also called as the “cigar man”.
The early days of the New York Chinatown was dominated by tongs. Tongs were made out of a mixture of political alliances, landsman’s associations, clan associations and crime syndicates. This association offered protection for the people against harassments that took place as a result of anti-Chinese sentiment. It was once named as one of the most dangerous areas of New York as well.
The immigration reforms that took place during 1965 brought significant changes to the Chinatown. As a result of these reforms, a considerable number of people immigrated to the United States and most of them selected New York Chinatown to settle down. At the moment, 10% of people who live within Chinatown speak Mandarin as their native language. In addition, a considerable percentage of the people speak Min Chinese as well.
The real estate prices in Manhattan are rising at a rapid rate and this has affected Chinatown as well. The increasing real estate prices have contributed towards higher rents as well. Most of the Chinese workers who have settled down in Chinatown are not in a position to afford these higher rents. As a result, they have taken required steps in order to shift to other Chinatowns that are located in New York including the Elmhurst Chinatown and Flushing Chinatown. The East Harlem Chinatown and Brooklyn Chinatown have also received much attention among them.
Chinese immigrants who lived in the Manhattan Chinatown were living for rent in the apartments located in Little Italy and East Side. Their prices were affordable for the Chinese immigrants. However, the owners of these apartments have started to renovate them and sell at higher prices. It seems like they have taken the maximum advantage out of increasing real estate prices.
Some of the newer landlords have found it as a difficult task to get the tenants out. That’s because the people have been staying in Chinatown Manhattan for a long period of time. As a result, the newer landlords are trying to figure out loopholes, which can be used to force out the tenants and sell the property at higher prices.]
By Linda S